A number of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) species related to heparin, dermatan sulfate (DeS) and chondroitin sulfate were tested for their ability to interfere with the physiological expression and/or pathological overexpression of the TGF-β1 gene. The influence of the molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, degree of sulfation and location of the sulfate groups was examined in an attempt to unveil fine relationships between structure and activity. The nature of the polysaccharide plays a major part, heparins proving able to inhibit both basal and stimulated TGF-β1 gene expression, DeSs being essentially inactive and chondroitin sulfates only inhibiting stimulated TGF-β1 gene expression. Within this frame, the particular physical and chemical properties of some GAGs appear to further modulate TGF-β1 gene response. Judging from our investigation, chondroitin sulfates seem the most promising for potential pharmacological applications in disorders characterized by fibrogenic TGF-β1 overexpression.
- mesangial cells